Many volunteers from Kent Harrison Search and Rescue were involved in the national SAR conference held recently in Chilliwack.

Busy autumn keeps SAR members from fundraising

Group still working hard toward completing new base in Agassiz

As the summer draws to a close it’s often not the end of search and rescue incidents.

This was certainly the case in September for the eastern Fraser Valley SAR teams, said Kent Harrison SAR president Marvin Anderson.

KHSAR volunteers responded to 12 calls in 24 days in September, several of which were significant incidents requiring a multi-team response. From an overturned boat on the Fraser near the Agassiz Rosedale Bridge that resulted in one fatality, to several medical rescues and searches, the SAR volunteers faced numerous challenges and some very long nights.

October started with two calls during the early hours of the Thanksgiving Day weekend, but it has been quiet on the incident front since then. Demands on the team’s time and resources didn’t let up however as many volunteers from Kent Harrison SAR were involved in organizing and running the national SAR conference (SARscene) in Chilliwack recently.

One Kent Harrison SAR member was on the organizing committee for several months prior to the event, while others attended the conference as volunteers assisting with the numerous presentations, seminars and training.

The SAR Games, trade show and static displays involved over half of the team and saw more Kent Harrison SAR equipment on display than any other SAR group in B.C. The Kent Harrison SAR Command Vehicle and logistics trailer were used as the command centre for the SAR games on Oct. 19, with the scoring from the games displayed on other networked computers throughout the site.

The team continues to work toward the new SAR base on Cameron Road, and the hydro poles are finally installed as of last week. Volunteers still need to raise another $350,000 before work can commence on the building itself.

“This is a real challenge for us,” said team president Marvin Anderson. “SAR volunteers have been so busy with incident responses, training, special events, administration and equipment maintenance that there’s little time left for fundraising.”

Any help that the community can offer would be much appreciated, he added.

To find out more about Kent Harrison Search and Rescue, visit their web site at www.khsar.com. To find out more about search and rescue in British Columbia, visit the BC SAR Association web site at www.bcsara.com.